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  1. Well, maybe the title is a little exaggerated. I've got a gut, but still the svelte skinny shoulders and arms of a young preteen girl. Makes getting jackets fitted an embarrassing process. So I finally joined a gym last week, and to my shock and disappointment, did not get totally ripped after one workout. I guess I'll be needing a more detailed plan. Here's what I've got: -I'm 40, naturally skinny (used to be around 130lbs in college, eating whatever I want in massive quantities. I'm 6ft tall), but have aged into a weird long pear. Looking to be a V shape again. -I've got NO muscles. None. -I can workout Mon-Thurs only. -I dislike cardio. I'll do it if I have to, but running on a machine makes me feel like a sad hamster. -I'd like to build my upper body while reducing my middle, to enhance the non-pearness. Not going for total bodybuilder status, just hot (-ish) thin guy who doesn't look his age. So here are some naive beginner questions: -I've read you should rest a day between workouts, but how hard and fast is that? If I try to work different areas on consecutive days, BUT there is some overlap, is this really terrible? -How long should I spend using weight machines before I move to free weights? My understanding is that free weights are better since they involve more muscles, but I am initially worried about my lower back as I am building up strength. I'm prone to pain back there, but nothing TOO serious. Also, I find the machines kinda fun. -What is a good upper body weight exercise that burns a lot of fat? I'm going to have many more questions, as this is all new to me. Just wanted to get the ball rolling. Thanks!
  2. Well, last challenge went swimmingly. Let's try that again. NightWatcher felt herself shaken awake. She jerked up, nearly braining herself on the overhang of the shallow cave she'd taken refuge in, and saw a young face dressed in the clothing style she remembered from the future. Her first thought was that she'd been caught and she reached for her sword, only to remember it wasn't there anymore. The man placed a hand over her mouth and held a finger to his own lips. "I'm a friend of The Doctor's, he sent me to help you. Hi!" Watcher let herself breathe again. "Hi?" She replied, her mind slowly arranging itself back into order. She remembered stealing the clothes and the satchel from a store, leaving the village and picking up some food on her way before finding this cave around noon the next day. She still felt bad about the clothes. "Where is The Doctor? When will he be back?" The young man laughed. "Well, that's a funny question. He'll be here in about 6 weeks, I'll be where he is in about 5 minutes of my time." As he said this, he reached for her hand. "Oh, mind if I say how lovely your fur is?" Watcher gave him a sideways glance as he fastened some kind of device onto her wrist and quickly put the hat back on her head. "Now, listen closely - the TARDIS dropped you off here, we don't know why, but this watch will bring you back here in 4 weeks of your time, about 6 weeks into the future now. Might be a bit off, it's not the most graceful travel device, but it'll get you close enough." "4 weeks? What do I do until then?" The man chuckled, taking the bag off of her shoulder and couching it under his arm. "You won't be here, or... now, I guess. There's someone we were told to send you to who might be able to help get you ready for what's coming, and well, since you'd be waiting a while anyways, we figured we'd use this to get you there quicker." He pushed a button. "See you in 4 weeks, I'll buy you a drink then." "But wha..." NightWatcher's words cut themselves off when she blinked and the cave, the man and the forest all disappeared, leaving a village in her view instead. People walked, led horses, goats and camels, and seemed to take no notice of her, even in her strange clothes - these were desert people, from the middle east, and a man in white robes with a wide belt and hood was walking up to her. "Ah good, I see you've come with nothing. This was how I started my journey too. Come with me." NightWatcher hesitated, then stood up, making sure the hat stayed where it was on her head. The man in the hood smiled, only his mouth showing. "My name is Altair, and you're in Masyaf, my home city. We're to make sure you're ready." With that, he lead her up a hill toward what looked like a castle. NW equipment stats - No armor, no weapon, no pouch. +1 blend hat This challenge is going to focus on basics so that (hopefully soon) I can build off of those; I wound up taking some time off, but time to get back on the horse that threw me. Last challenge had improvements in all areas except running, but none of them quite hit the marks so this will be similar to last challenge. Main Quest: Reclaiming the health bar Side quest 1 - Food prep. Make meals ahead for work (most likely Sunday or Monday night), and fill pint jars with salad that just needs dressing. 1 jar of each/lunch. Avoid eating out still, allowed 1/week. Have something available with protein and extra calories for days where I burn more calories than I remembered to plan for, either a PB/banana shake or another small, easily available snack. Side quest 2 - Flee the Enemy - zombies, run! Couch 2 5K, 3x/week Side quest 3 - Solid to the core - bodyweight strength training. 2-3x/week, depending on how body feels (3 is a bonus). Pilates, yoga, or bodyweight workout all count toward this. Life Quest - Music to my soul - This is combining 2 goals, but one was pretty close to perfect last challenge and I don't want to lose that progress. Practice guitar 3x/week for at least a half hour, and daily read both a section of the Bible and Morning & Evening (Mom got it for me for Christmas, so far I've read about one in 5 entries.) So far this week - SQ1 - check SQ2 - none yet SQ3 - none yet Life - 1/guitar, 3/reading
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